Literary and Spiritual Excerpts

When grizzlies walked upright

Before there were people on the earth, the Chief of the Sky Spirits grew tired of his home in the Above World, because the air was always brittle with an icy cold. So he carved ...

The Good Twin and the Evil Twin

This is how it all began. There was only water — there was no sky, there was no land, only nothingness. Then out of the waters rose a mist, and it became the sky. Still ...

How Men and Women Got Together

Old Man had made the world and everything in it. He had done everything well, except that he had put the men in one place and the women in another, quite a distance away. So ...

Creation of First Man and First Woman

Using signs but without speaking, the gods tried to instruct the people, but they were not understood…. The gods appeared on four days in succession and attempted to communicate through signs.… On the fourth day ...

The Origin of the Curing Ceremony

Bringing medicine into the world

[T]he One Who Made the Earth…planned for each person to have a piece of land that he could live on and call his own. Our people were living in one such place, but they didn’t ...

Babylonian Creation Myth

Still looking for the fifth tablet....

The Babylonian Creation Myth When there was no heaven, No earth, no height, no depth, no name When Apsu was alone, The sweet water, the first begetter; and Tiamat The bitter water, and that Return ...

The Great Medicine Dance

Creation myth of the Cheyenne people

The Tsis-tsistas people have danced the great medicine dance for a long, long time, longer than anyone can remember or even imagine. The dance represents the making of this universe, and was conceived and taught ...

Creation of the Animal People

Indian legends of the Pacific Northwest

The earth was once a human being: Old One made her out of a woman. “You will be the mother of all people,” he said. Earth is alive yet, but she has been changed. The ...

Corn mother

The origin of maize

When Kloskurbeh, the All-maker, lived on earth, there were no people yet. But one day when the sun was high, a youth appeared and called him “Uncle, brother of my mother.” This young man was ...

From translation of Veni Creator Spiritus (Come Creator Spirit)

A time when being Catholic was not popular

Creator Spirit, by whose aid The world’s foundations first were laid, Come visit ev’ry pious mind; Come pour thy joys on human kind: From sin, and sorrow set us free; And make thy temple worthy ...

From Miscellanea, Meditations, Memoratives

Written as a spiritual guide

There be two feet whereon God walketh on the hearts of men. Mercy and truth which a sinner must fall down with Mary and kiss, that in respect of God’s Justice we may retain fear, ...

God gave us the Indies

What more did He do for Moses or David?

At length, groaning with exhaustion, I fell asleep, and heard a compassionate voice saying, “O fool, and slow to believe and serve thy God, the God of every man! What more did He do for ...

Catholic priest turned Presbyterian pastor

Excerpt from “The Finished Wonder”

It seemed that God was far away, but He was very near. Suddenly the thought entered my mind: “You have your Gospel; read it, and you will find the light.” On my knees, and with ...

Where did money get "In God We Trust"?

Salmon Chase, approver of mottos

No nation can be strong except in the strength of God or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins. You will cause a ...

I am come hither to die

From “The Last Speech and Confession of Mr. John Southworth, a Popish Priest at his Execution at Tyburn June 28, 1654”

I am come hither to die, and would willingly speak something…I am a Lancashire man and am brought hither to die not for any crime I have committed against the laws, but for being a ...

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